Apple® and Eve’s Choice
Ever wonder about the Apple icon? The apple with a bite taken from it?
Once upon a time, the story goes, a woman named Eve took a bite from an apple that brought the fall of humanity.
Or did something else happen? Here’s the story:
Adam and Eve lived in the paradisiacal Garden of Eden. God told them they could eat from all the trees except the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eat this fruit, and surely die. But one day a snake told Eve: Die? You will not die. If you eat this fruit you will become wise like God, knowing good from evil. Desiring wisdom, Eve took the fruit and ate, and gave some to her husband, who also ate. Upon discovering the breach, God cast Adam and Eve out of their lovely garden and into a harsh world.
Hence, the Fall.
There are other ways of understanding this story.
The story can be seen as a metaphor of human life. Children are born into a state of innocence, with all their needs attended to. Life is cushy. Others make their decisions. But then they reach “the terrible two’s” when they begin to rebel and think for themselves. Disobedience sounds bad. But what happens to a person who just does what they’re told all of their lives? Or who never struggles with anything?
And is greater wisdom, knowing good from evil, a bad thing?
If Adam and Eve had stayed in the garden forever, certainly things would have been pleasant. But would they have grown? Would they have gained any wisdom? Life would have gone on as it always had. Always staying the same.
In choosing this icon Steve Jobs, who placed his headquarters at the corner of Technology and Liberal Arts, knew the power of a symbol. He also had ways of seeing that others lack.
Apple’s early logo slapped a rainbow on the very archetype of human fallenness and failure – the bitten fruit – and turned it into a sign of promise and progress.
In Steve Jobs’ commencement speech at Stanford he talked about the power of failure — how you learn from it.
There is no progress when we stay static. When we are afraid to fail. When we fail to think. And when we avoid struggle.
Choose wisdom. Choose growth. Choose, the bitten apple seems to say.